Are You Seeing Less Clients Who Have Life Insurance?

Advertisement

Article from:  Bankrate.com

Why don’t Americans buy life insurance? At least part of the answer is that we’re not absolutely convinced that the money we tuck away all those years will actually pass to our heirs once we’re gone.

According to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association, or LIMRA, 56 percent of U.S. households did not have an individual policy as of 2010, a 50-year high. Nearly a third of us (30 percent) lacked any coverage at all, even through an employer’s group plan – and that number has grown 22 percent in six years.

Advertisement

Granted, life insurance isn’t likely to compete with food, shelter or even homeowners and auto insurance on most people’s priority lists these days. Even so, in a 2011 telephone survey by the accounting firm Deloitte, 1 in 4 respondents admitted they don’t trust life insurance companies or life insurance agents.

“Either way, the industry has some serious trust issues to address with a significant percentage of consumers,” Deloitte concluded.

Last week, the ongoing multistate, multiagency investigation into life insurers behaving badly surfaced in the news once again when Florida and several other states reached a $40 million settlement with MetLife over alleged improprieties in tracking down the beneficiaries of deceased policyholders. The settlement could result in more than $400 million in death benefits from industrial life policies sold between 1900 and 1964 being paid to the rightful beneficiaries or, failing that, to the appropriate state’s unclaimed property fund.

“MetLife had apparently been using the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to check to see if a policyholder has died only in cases where such a death would be beneficial to the insurance company. For example, MetLife allegedly used this Master File to stop annuity payments to deceased clients, but did not use it to issue life insurance payments to beneficiaries of the insured,” according to a Miami Herald report.

While the settlement allows MetLife to deny any wrongdoing or liability, it does require the insurer to reform its business practices and step up attempts to find beneficiaries within 120 days of a policyholder’s demise. If no beneficiary is found within a year, MetLife agrees to pay the death benefit or annuity payment to the appropriate state.

The $40 million MetLife settlement will go entirely to cover legal costs, including those of the task force launched in early 2011 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

MetLife joins John Hancock Life and Prudential, which previously reached similar settlements with the investigating jurisdictions.

And so it goes, another life insurance giant deftly flicks an unseemly speck from its immaculate lapel. We did no wrong. We don’t owe anyone. Oh yeah, and of course we’ll try to do better.

I can’t imagine why consumers don’t trust them.

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
Advertisement

You may be interested

On Our Soapbox: The Truth About Cremation | FUNERAL nation 085
FUNERAL Nation
134 views
FUNERAL Nation
134 views

On Our Soapbox: The Truth About Cremation | FUNERAL nation 085

CDFuneralNews - August 16, 2017

Cremation truth and Social Media Screwup: Watch Ryan & The Commander tell it like it is on their soapbox! (more…)

How Watching Movies In a Cemetery Became an L.A. Summer Staple
Cemetery
48 views
Cemetery
48 views

How Watching Movies In a Cemetery Became an L.A. Summer Staple

CDFuneralNews - August 14, 2017

The often sold-out Hollywood Forever Cemetery screenings have cemented themselves as a seasonal institution in the Southland, drawing scores of fans and A-listers.

Funeral Homes are Struggling to Keep Their Doors Open
Cremation
60 views
Cremation
60 views

Funeral Homes are Struggling to Keep Their Doors Open

Ryan Thogmartin - August 13, 2017

This is a topic and conversation that does not get talked about or covered enough. We all want to put the blame on cremation and ignore the fact that many of the issues facing funeral homes aren't because families choose cremation but because of bad business decisions of many funeral directors who don't want to change or accept cremation.

Comments